The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (4-3-0, 1-0-0) were upended by the #10 NYU Violets (7-0-0) by a score of 1-0 Wednesday night.
The only goal of the match came with 11 seconds remaining in regulation when a hand-ball was called against the Kings Point defense in front of the Violets' net. NYU senior forward Paolo Luciano took advantage of the penalty kick giving the Violets the victory.
The game was tightly contested throughout most of the match. Although the Mariners were outshot 18-5, they had a couple of good chances to grab the lead late in the contest.
"NYU came out strong and we struggled for the first 20 minutes of play," said Head Coach Mike Smolens." After that, we gathered ourselves and played an excellent match against a high-quality opponent. We created a number of good chances in the second half and were disappointed not to capitalize on them."
With 13:50 left to play, junior forward Tim Anthone ripped a shot from point blank range which sailed just above the cross-bar.
A few minutes later, with 5:54 remaining in the second half, a foul was called just outside NYU's box. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Arestivo blasted a rocket which bent just wide of the upper right corner of the net.
Sophomore forward Nick Vogel led Merchant Marine in shots with two.
Junior goalkeeper Stephen Fucito made four saves including a big one to keep the game scoreless to open the second half. Luciano fired a shot from about twenty yards out which Fucito was just able to get a piece of to deflect over the goal.
Of the seven goals allowed by the Mariners this season, three have come by way of the penalty kick.
"It certainly hurts to lose on a controversial call as the second half was coming to an end, but our team is already looking toward our conference match on Saturday," continued Smolens. "We had a number of players play very well against the #10 team in the country and came very close to an excellent result. Even without that result we feel good about the way our team played and are looking forward to carrying that strong play into Saturday's match."
USMMA will have to put this tough loss behind them as they get ready for their next matchup; a Landmark Conference bout at Juniata (5-3-0, 0-0-0) this Saturday at 12:00 PM.